Bra makers at Playtex came up with the design for the the Apollo 11 spacesuits!
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In the absence of sports bras, women playing tennis at Wimbledon in 1887 competed in whalebone and metal corsets, which were so stabby that they often ended up covered in blood by the end of a match.
The modern sports bra wasn't invented until 1977, and it was a DIY affair — sisters and running enthusiasts Lisa Lindahl and Polly Smith made it by sewing two jockstraps together.
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Speaking of DIY affairs, the first modern bra was also a DIY project —
it consisted of two handkerchiefs sewn together by a wealthy young woman named Caresse Crosby before she went to a party.
Nineteen-year-old Crosby was unhappy with the way her whalebone corset looked under her delicate dress, so she requested that her maid bring her silk hankies, pink ribbon, some cord, and a needle and thread, and then she created the first modern bra. She patented the design in 1914, and started the Fashion Form Brassiere Company; of the bra, she'd later write, “I can't say the brassiere will ever take as great a place in history as the steamboat, but I did invent it.”
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Bra makers at Playtex came up with the design for the the Apollo 11 spacesuits.
During the space race, NASA sponsored a competition to design the astronauts' suits, and Playtex threw its hat in the ring. The military contractors they were competing against created heavy-duty, structured suits, but Playtex's had “crucial softness, world class stitching, and perfect design.” The suits had 21 layers of super-thin fabric, were made from literally the same materials as Playtex bras, and they were sewn — without using any pins — by Playtex seamstresses.
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